When fishing is good and the catching is bad

Some people treat studying like some wussy soft skill.  

Not quite sure why studying gets such a bad rap so I googled it.   

Here’s the definition I found:

“Devote time and attention to acquiring knowledge on (an academic subject), especially by means of books.”

Ah, I see where this ‘pop culture’ definition is different than my version.  

Knowledge is not power, the application of knowledge is power.  You can read about how to fish all you want.  Until you bait your hook and plant your fishing pole into some water you’re not really going to KNOW fishing.

Knowing is about conscious contact not theories.

That’s our goal.  

It’s how we will understand who we serve and to KNOW them better and better.   That way when you write copy for your website or ads or whatever you can lead with what resonates with your audience the most.  

As Gary Halbert would say, you don’t want to sell the best hamburgers, you want to find “a STARVING CROWD”.  

If you don’t, you’re pushing the rope instead of pulling it.

You’re gonna work WAY too hard for lackluster results.

Eugene Schwartz put it like this:

“This mass desire must already be there.  It must already exist.  You cannot create it, and you cannot fight it.  But you can—and must—direct it, channel it, focus it onto your particular product.”

Yes, you want a fancy USP and all that jazz but make sure you are tapping into a desire that is already there with your products and services.

To learn more on how to find and market to a hungry crowd, subscribe to my free daily emails at https://adamstreet.net .


The positives of being negative and my crazy ex

In my freshman year of college I dated a girl named Candy.    

As Martin Lawrence would say, she was “crazy and deranged”.

She’d make Glenn Close’s character in Fatal Attraction look like a mild-mannered Sunday school teacher.  

I learned a lot from that experience.  Mostly notably was how to spot a CRAZY bee-yotch in the wild.  It’s like watching Animal Planet but with a twist.  

I’d complain but that’s life.  There’s positive and there’s negative.  Just like in dating and everything else in the world.

When it comes to writing copy, adding the negative can take your writing to the next level.  Especially on your sales pages and emails.

I’ll do a biz-op example.  Most Promises look like this:

  • You’ll earn more.
  • Have more free time.
  • You can build your biz with little experience.


That’s all well and good but NEGATIVE Promises help balance out your message.  You could say something like…

Are you tired of:

Companies that prey on your “Hopes and dreams”.

Marketing materials that are just long boring sales pitches.

Without the negatives you can risk sounding like a really annoying overly positive person.  Like Pollyanna or Kenneth from 30 Rock.

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The meat and potatoes of writing emails

Writing emails can be tough.

And if you take my advice and email every day, sometimes it can feel like pushing a baby elephant…


I admit, I have different approaches in creating emails but one method I use is to start with a theme or premise.

And by ‘theme’ I just mean, what your email is about or the meat of your message.  

Here’s the theme of the movie i, Robot:

“A technophobic cop investigates a crime that may have been perpetrated by a robot, which leads to a larger threat to humanity.”

So how does this work for emails?

Let’s say my theme is based on something I heard Darren Hardy say last week.  I don’t remember it verbatim but he said, environment is stronger than willpower.  

I had to think on that one for a second. 

That was powerful!  

It reminded me about a book I read called Influencer and all sorts of memories and ideas that backed up what Hardy said. 

So if Darren Hardy’s quote was the “meat” of email, the next thing to do is add a vegetable, a grain, and maybe even a roll or two to support your theme.

That’s why the concept of writer’s block is more fictitious than Spongebob and Patrick barbecuing underwater.

If you need help cooking up content all you need to do is open a book or an Internet browser.

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Prove mastery with 3 questions

I was listening to Brandon Lucero’s podcast the other day and he was describing something he learned from Gary Vaynerchuk.  

What’s funny is he started by saying he doesn’t usually listen to Gary V anymore.  He said he’s, learned about all he can from him.  So he thought…

I know that feeling all too well.  Someone gives you some advice or you read something and you think, “yeah yeah, I know.”

This happened to me in high school when I entered in a talent show.  I was supposed to sing a song but for some reason I didn’t feel the need to practice.  

And guess what?  

I didn’t win.  I barely made it though the song.  It was embarrassing.

I picked up 3 questions from Darren Hardy last week that really would have been helpful before I blew that talent show.  He said when you think you’ve got a skill down and you get ready to say, “I’ve heard this before”, ask yourself this:

  • Am I doing it?
  • Have you mastered it?
  • Would my results prove that I’ve mastered it?

Even though I thought I “knew how to sing” that song.  My answer to those three questions was no and I failed.

Asking yourself questions like these keep you on your toes. You’ll also stay on your a-game and no one will think you’re a pompous know-it-all.  That’s a bonus.

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Sharpening your ax

One problem I have with the epilogue of the Harry Potter book series is what happens to Hermione Granger.  I think she would have been a fantastic (and probably famous) witch.

I say that because she was a great student. 

Dumbledore was a great student.

Tom Riddle [Voldemort] was a great student.  

When I saw Lebron James when he was young I knew he was going to be really good when I saw how  SERIOUS a STUDENT of the game he was.  

And being 6’8’ and 240 didn’t hurt either…

Keep in mind when I say study I’m not talking about merely reading or watching videos.  Lots of people do that.  Studying is reading/watching, applying, and taking account of your results.

And doing this on purpose.

That’s why copywriters that I respect like Gary Bencivenga said 40% of his day is research.  Ken McCarthy gave a similar ratio, and so did Eugene Schwartz.

Like these greats did, STUDY your craft.

STUDY your customers.

STUDY your marketplace.

It’s like the famous Abraham Lincoln quote.  “If I only had an hour to chop down a tree, I would spend the first 45 minutes sharpening my axe.” 

Sharpen your ax.

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